When will you look to Christ?
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," (John 1:29).
Dear friend, whosoever and whatsoever you are or have been, in Christ Jesus there is perfect and complete salvation for you! I urge you to at once turn your eyes away from yourself and to look to Jesus. Stop trying to please God with your prayers, tears, reformations, feelings, repentance, or good living. Stop looking within yourself for some preparation or imagined worthiness to fit you for Christ. Look to the cross; look to the bleeding Lamb of God! Look to the risen Savior! Look to the exalted King! There, there is all your salvation! There, there is all your hope! Look now to Jesus and you will be saved in Him and by Him! (Romans 10:11-13; Isaiah 1:8; John 1:29; Isaiah 45:22).
Perhaps you say, but I am dead, I am unable, how then can I look? Yes, truly you are much worse than you ever imagine. But why then do you keep away from Christ? Why do yet linger as if there was still some hope in yourself that you might be saved? You say that you are altogether blind and unable to look, and assuredly you are! Then keep no longer from the Savior! Take your blindness, your deadness, your inability, your unbelief, your wretched condition as it is, and take it all to Jesus. He is able to save to the uttermost! Stop resisting His salvation as if it is not suitable for you. He only will be your Savior, and if you refuse Him, there is no one else that can save you, for your condition is so bad. Now behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world and you will behold Him taking away all your sins, all your curse, all your guilt! (Romans 5:6; John 15:5; Hebrews 7:25; Isaiah 45:22; John 1:29).
Perhaps you will again now say, but I still cannot look. If I could but look, then all would be well. No friend, if you could look of yourself, then your condition would not be so bad. Then I would not be so urgent and earnest with you. But you cannot look of yourself! No, I repeat, you cannot believe of yourself because faith is not some great work that you must perform to be saved. You quite mistake the very essence or underlying principle of faith by viewing it as a work. On the contrary, to hide in Christ is the very opposite of work, for it is a ceasing of work in every sense and meaning. Faith is the exercise of a heart, that is drawn by the irresistible and hidden power of the Holy Spirit, in the which the eye of the understanding is directed entirely away from self, away from all that is of man, and to Jesus. The Holy Spirit works this faith in you. You must not try to believe or to look into your self for this faith. Look entirely away from yourself! Look only to Jesus! To keep away from the Saviour is to resist the strivings of the Holy Spirit by continuing to seek your life in and of your own self. Unbelief; that can be called working. Unbelief; that is the resisting of salvation by grace alone. Unbelief is to keep away from Christ and to hope in vain salvation from yourself. Of unbelievers it is said that they "being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God," (Romans 10:3). Submit now to this perfect righteousness of God and you will be saved, not in the way of works, but you will be saved by grace through faith, for then only will Jesus do all. Then only will He be all your salvation. Then only will He have all the glory, world without end! "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent," (John 6:29); (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:9; Romans 10:2-4; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 4:20).
But again you may say, I am not ready, no I cannot now look to Jesus for I do not feel my sins as I should and my heart is altogether unprepared for His salvation. I could not rightly value or esteem it. I must first know more of my sins. Is this your response? These thoughts are because of your deep ignorance of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel of salvation. He would have that you come to Him just as you are for He only can save you just as you are! Why do purpose to improve yourself, as you imagine, before you will go to Christ? But you may reply, no not I, but He must first improve me for Himself by showing me the holy law. And do you think that He will be able to better save you then? Do you think His blood will only avail for your sins and will only purge your heart from dead works and make it new, after that you have been humbled enough to your own satisfaction? Is this not pride? Is this not a form of self-righteousness? "Awake thou that sleepest!" Christ Jesus can and will save you just as you are! What makes you think that He will not! Then keep no longer from the Saviour! (Mark 2:17; Isaiah 55:1; Hosea 14:4; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:14).
Know assuredly that if you are ever to come to Christ in faith, it will be just as you are. You may experience much of what you desire for preparation, but it will never bring you closer to Jesus, for in all coming to Him, a believer loses all sight and expectation in His own fitness and worthiness. You must reject and look away from all your goodness, all your vainly imagined preparations, all that is of the flesh or of working, and then to come, just as you are. This is the simple reality of the gospel. This is the underlying principle in faith. To believe is to come, just as you are, to look entirely away from yourself, and to look for and find all your salvation alone in Christ. Stop looking at or to yourself! Look alone to Jesus. He only is all your hope! He only is all your salvation! (Psalm 62:2-6).
Yet, it may be that you are delaying your coming to Christ for another reason. You may say that your sins are too great, or too many, or have been loved too long so that you doubt that God can, or ever will receive you back unto Himself. You are still doubting His love, His ability, His willingness to save you. Or perhaps worse, you are one who cares nothing for any of these things. You would keep to your sins and put the day of death and judgment far from you. Then there is only one word for you:"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," (John 1:29). It is the same word of grace! Behold this Savior! Do you not see any beauty in Him? Does His dying, redeeming love not draw your heart to desire Him for your salvation? Do you not see a perfect suitableness in His righteousness, His blood, to cover the mountains of your sins? Friend, consider His sacrifice that He gave that you might be saved. Whosoever, or whatsoever you are or have been, look now to this same Jesus and you will find complete redemption, perfect pardon, joy unspeakable, sweetest peace, and eternal life, all in Him and all through Him. (Amos 6:3; Acts 10:43; 1 Peter 1:8).
God be thanked that the way of salvation is thus open for sinners just as they are, for there is only hope here. Then you also are included! Perfect salvation is near to you this very moment! You, even you, and even now, just as you are this very moment, you can be saved! Jesus now invites you, "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David," (Isaiah 55:3). "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else," (Isaiah 45:22). Consider that word "Me." The almighty and willing Savior of sinners is the object of faith to which you must look. Don't try to look, or try to believe, for faith is not a work that you can or must do of yourself, but rather, focus on Christ! Say to Him, "Thou must save, and Thou alone." Look entirely away from, and forget everything about yourself. Forget even the exercise of faith itself, and gaze only upon the bleeding Saviour. Let all your contemplations and all your thoughts be totally absorbed and wrapped up with Him and His sacrifice for sin. Keep your gaze fixed upon Immanuel until the peace of God, which passes all understanding, fills your heart and mind! And turn not your eyes away from the cross, away from the Savior, for all of time and throughout all eternity. Forever keep your gaze fixed on Him! In Him is all your salvation, all your hope, all your righteousness, your eternal joy, your all in all! Amazing grace! Amazing love! (Romans 10:8; Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30).